In August of 1923 our church was formed by the community as a result of their need to have Sunday School sessions.
The Venice Park Methodist Episcopal Church was formally organized and the first Trustee Board was elected in late 1923. In 1924, ground breaking was held and the first cornerstone was placed in the left hand corner of the church with the word VPME Church inscribed on it.
During the next several decades (30’s through 50’s), Venice Park had many pastors including a woman who preached from the pulpit. In 1940 the first Hammond organ was installed, to be later replaced in 1966. The gold cross was purchased in 1947 and in 1951 the parsonage was built.
In the 50’s the Methodist Episcopal churches were in turmoil for reasons such as different beliefs on how service should be conducted, cliques, and segregation. Thus, the Methodist Episcopal Church divided and some became United Methodist; others became African Methodist Episcopal and still others became African Methodist Episcopal Zion, which brought in desegregation.
In 1960 ground was for a new education building and renovations to the sanctuary got underway. In 1965, a study was added to the parsonage, and in 1966 the new building was dedicated along with the playing of the Magnebel Sculmerich Carillon chimes. (which could still be heard at various intervals during the day in the late 90’s).
In 1970 Day Care Center was organized. In 1979 the neon light was installed on the cross. The 70’s were also marked by demographic changes which resulted in a decline in membership.
In 1984, the conference called for the reorganization of the church. In September of that year, the Board of Trustees, under the guidance of Reverend Michael Harriott, reestablished itself and the congregation began to grow again. Reverend Nathaniel Parker was appointed as Pastor shortly thereafter and served for the next 24 years until his retirement in June 2008. In July 2008 Reverend Clifford L. Still, Sr., was appointed as Pastor, and remains our pastor to date.
From October of 1990 to July of 1991, the church housed “Project Ahead” – a teen parent program. November of 1990 marked the start of a second service on Sunday night at 7:00pm to accommodate our growing congregation.
The reformation of the Children’s Choir began in April of 1991 under the direction of Ms. Sabrena Brandon. From June 1991 to September 1991, Venice Park United Methodist Church participated in a tent ministry with three other churches. It was such a blessing and success that the church participated again in July 1992 to August 1992.
In October 1992, the Children/Youth Ministry chaired by Cynthia James was formed. The ministry continues today under the direction of Sarah Johnson and provides a safe space for children/youth to engage in ministry, by providing bible-based teachings which is reinforced through fun and interactive games and activities.
Today Venice Park United Methodist Church has grown to over 100 active members that are either serving in the community or abroad. Our church is continuing God’s ministry of “Reaching Out to Lost Souls” and “Touching Those Who Have Lost Their Way”.
Our work for the Lord has “Only Just Begun”.